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Caged Bird

In: Social Issues

Submitted By bet12002
Words 529
Pages 3
Momma is a well respected black female store owner in Stamps. She values her strong beliefs in religion. She is wise, kind, loving and understanding. She loves Maya but raises her with a stern hand. She does not want her granddaughter and grandson to be ashamed of being black and poor. Maya does not understand why Momma does not stand up to prejudice whites. Momma teaches Maya how to act around whites. When three white children mock Momma from the front yard, it makes Maya furious. Momma maintains her dignity through the taunting by a gaze and humming a hymn. They attempt to embarrass Momma but only succeed in embarrassing themselves. She calls each girl Miz to show respect for each. They reply with “bye Annie.” This reply shows their disrespect and prejudice for her. She shows the girls respect demonstrating her maturity and poise. She knows the girls are acting out of ignorance and needs prayers and forgiveness. Out of the belief they are superior to African Americans. When Maya looks Momma in the face after this incidence, she sees that goodness makes her beautiful. After, Maya draws hearts with little hearts encompassed in them on the ground to acknowledge her grandmother’s heart is big enough to hold smaller ones. Maya knows her grandmother has won the contest with the “potwhitetrash” girls by giving them the respect that they never came to receive. Perhaps Maya refers to it as a contest due to her emotional reaction to it. Momma proves her superiority with the way she handled this incidence. The church scene was very humorous. Her brother is mischievous. He loves Maya and she looks up to him. The two are very close. So Maya reminds her brother of a Sisters action of shouting “preach it” in church during a previous service. Of course Bailey could not resist from going up to provoke the sister by whispering “preach it” in her ear. The sister rushes straight to the Reverend and grabs him. Maya and her brother do not like the Reverend. During the incident, he loses his dentures and the two laugh uncontrollably. The two are punished. Momma would not tolerate such poor behavior. It is very clear that religion and its teachings are of the most important to Momma. It is also clear of the close sister brother bond between Maya and Bailey. They tell each other everything they overhear. They talk of hearing the gossip of adults and refer to the sexual talk as “doing it.” Seems as if one of them dislikes a person, they both do. She writes this book in such a way that we feel the racism that existed in that time first hand. Her childhood was in a time when social, economic and racial discrimination was at its worst. The blacks had to endure racial and social subordination. Maya may have named this “From I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” due to her own experience of being caged by racism, insecurity, socialism and poverty. As the other black folks in Stamps, she did not know what it was like to be free from such injustices as a young girl.…...

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